Watch out, yinz, we’re about to drop the g-word. Yeah, we’re talking about gluten. Avoiding this wheat option doesn’t mean forfeiting a good, quality (or drool-worthy) meal anymore. Especially because Pittsburgh’s popping when it comes to GF menus and creative substitutions.
Ready to get your gluten-free groove on? Fill up on these healthy eats that’ll satisfy both your stomach and your lifestyle without compromising on taste.
This concept kitchen in the heart of Pittsburgh’s North Shore offers a not-to-miss dining experience. With the goal of showcasing local culinary talent, the open-seating restaurant acts as a launch pad for undiscovered chefs with each menu as eclectic, innovative, and—you guessed it—gluten-free-friendly as the next (though, Michigan & Trumbulll might not be your jam). And while you wait for your order to pop up, hang at the outdoor beer garden where you can find local brews and ciders on tap, a hand-crafted cocktail menu, and a high concentration of flannel-wearing hipsters.
It’s a tough task to tackle gluten-free pizza, but Giovanni’s does it right (complete with a mouth-watering smell you’re sure to get a whiff of when leaving class at South Hills Power Yoga in Dormont). They still use their signature sauce and toppings, while sparing little taste on their medium personal-sized (we use this term loosely) pie. And if you’ve been saving up your cheat days for a hoagie or pasta dish, you’re in luck. They also serve a solid offering of gluten-free items loaded with cheesy goodness and hearty veggies.
Franks are at the heart of this fast-casual eatery, but look a little deeper, and you’ll find plenty of gluten-free, veg, and even vegan options on both their Lawrenceville brick-and-mortar and food truck menus. Grab one of their classic franks (the Chicago Imposter, to be exact), brimming with relish, onion, banana peppers, pickles, tomato, and poppy seed. Then seal the deal with a GF bun and wash it all down with a bottle of Glütiny Golden Ale.
Burgatory is the best example of a local chain that’s doing it right. With a fully-customizable menu, this burger joint is gluten-free friendly — and proud. And these guys are expanding fast, so no matter where you call home, you can find a gooey cheeseburger (or Impossible burger) flanked by a GF bun in no time.
Double Wide Grill
This South Side staple is not only gluten-free-friendly (with an extensive GF menu), but they also claim an inventive vegan and veg menu that could cure anyone’s hangover. We recommend the portabella burger for a dish so delicious, it’ll bring you back to life faster than any amount of AM coffee.
Where else can you score some gluten-free pancakes without sacrificing the doughy, fluffy consistency of a traditional flapjack? This Regent Square café goes out of their way to accommodate dietary needs, bringing the community together around vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free food, with a fresh, local flare.
OTB Bicycle Cafe
North Park’s crown jewel (with another location in South Side) could easily offer your traditional burgers and fries and call it a day. After all, OTB’s dive-y vibe and comprehensive beer selection go hand-in-hand with the greasy comfort foods of the average bar. But they stepped up their health game to match the intensity of those running, biking, hiking, or paddling around the park. If you look closely, there are plenty of gluten-free and veg-friendly options. And if you ask nicely, they may even let you order from their secret Paleo menu.
If the line often leading into this cozy Lawrenceville spot indicates one thing, it’s the quality of their Instagram-worthy food. Coca Café offers something for everyone — and we really do mean everyone. Dietary restrictions? Food allergies? No worries. Coca Café is ready and willing to alter most menu items to make them A-OK for any everyone, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free eaters.
Gluten Free Goat Bakery & Café
Inside their brick-and-mortar café on Garfield’s main drag, Gluten Free Goat offers an impressive spread of gluten-free, organic, and soy-free products including salads, soups, pastries, paninis, waffles, and more. And if you’re looking for somethin’ sweet to kickstart the day, we’ll let you in on a little secret — the baked goods here taste much better than their gluten-filled counterparts.
Sunny Bridge Natural Foods & Café
Supplying the South Hills since 2002, Sunny Bridge’s menu features gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan-friendly options. So whether you’re looking for a quick bite or consider yourself a GF chef, this is a can’t-miss choice for folks who like to fuel up on delicious and nutritious foods.
This staple spot in Squirrel Hill has been supplying Pittsburgh with gluten-free baked goods since their start in 2007. And all the while they’ve been baking everything in-house — from scratch, by hand, daily. In doing so, they truly fulfill their mission to provide the best-tasting and freshest, allergy-friendly treats around. From cakes to cookies, cupcakes to pizza, and even DIY baking mixes, Gluuteny is a gluten-free go-to.
This Wexford food barn-slash-emporium (tucked behind Soergel’s Market) is a downright haven for gluten-free, allergen-free, all-natural, and organic goods. Between the freshly-made food and for-purchase health products, you can’t go wrong. Plus, Soergel’s has the inventory and know-how required to meet every dietary need, making it difficult to leave without your hands full and wallet empty — for good reason.
East End Food Co-op
East End Food Co-op is packed to the brim with local and organic eats. There’s no shortage of all-natural snacks, affordable bulk foods, and gluten-free goodness, either. And after a grueling workout at Pittsburgh’s Climbing Wall, you can recharge by filling up a plate at their ever-changing hot bar — with the storefronts literally attached, it’s hard to find an excuse to skip out on a trip.
Tucked right off the beaten path in Mt. Lebanon, this family-owned corner store was established to provide worry-free products to health- and allergy-conscious customers. It doesn’t hurt that they’ve set up shop less than a block away from Picadilly — an artisan yogurt creamery serving organic and vegan options. Stock up on gluten-free products before treating yourself to locally-made desserts that’ll keep you coming back.